Help Make Pioneer In Skirts A Reality

One of my core values is diversity of everything.

I’ve been involved deeply in several organizations, such as National Center for Women and Information Technology, that have been focused on increasing gender diversity in computer science and entrepreneurship. More recently, I’ve expanded my lens a lot to include many other dimensions of diversity. The mission of the Techstars Foundation, which is improving diversity in tech entrepreneurship, is an example of that.

One thing that I learned from my work with NCWIT is the power of examples. So, Amy and I have been supporting independent filmmakers for a few years. The first film we helped fund was CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. Then, following the leadership of Joanne Wilson, we helped fund Dream, Girl which you can watch for free on their website until November 14th.

Recently, a group of us have been helping a young filmmaker, Ashley Maria, who is on her own personal journey to find out why careers are much more complicated and difficult when a woman tries to have one.

Pioneers in Skirts focuses on cultural and personal setbacks women still face in our society when they pursue a career. The film focuses on hot social topics that women encounter – like the mommy penalty and unconscious biases we find in our culture, the need for mentorship, sponsors, and men to advocate for their female co-workers, and how to nip the problem in the bud during adolescence.

Pioneers in Skirts is currently in post-production aiming for an early 2017 premiere in festivals and then VOD, Streaming and Television. Ashley and team need a little more funding to get things done so if you are inclined to support an ambitious young female filmmaker working on what Amy and I think is an important film, go to her support page and make a donation to the effort.


Also published on Medium.

  • Very cool.
    Good works 🙂

  • Ashley Maria

    Brad, thank you for writing about the film. The national issue of plummeting ambitions has gotten to a point where a documentary had to be made about it. It happened to me, so I needed to figure it out.

    Pioneers in Skirts is made for women who are pioneering their career paths, for the allies who support them (like you), and for the next generation of girls who want to grow up to be anything they want to be. My team and I really appreciate the help in raising finishing funds to get this film to festivals!

    • Lea-Ann Woodward Berst

      The small team behind Pioneers in Skirts have worked within a low budget limitation for as long as they can, but now it’s time to secure the editors full time and finish this movie the right way — for the women and girls who dream BIG!

  • panterosa,

    I went to the screening of Dream, Girl, which was fantastic, and look forward to Pioneers in Skirts. It would be nice to think my 15yo daughter will be on the road paved by this work by her working life.

    Truthfully, it’s still appalling we are still dealing with implicit bias against women in the US, much more than many industrialized nations around the globe. Most especially the childcare issue raised in the trailer goes up my nose. There is a pathetic lack of real investment dollars in Early Childhood, even though by now it is widely accepted that the first five years are truly the most important ones to define the height of the arc of a trajectory through life.

    Brad, I wonder if you might share your thoughts on investment in early ed from the view of VC. As a component of women’s equality it is simply crucial that it be an all gender issue.

    • I’ve written about this some and will keep writing about it.

      • panterosa,

        I’d like to follow that. Do you have links?

        • No specific links but I know I’ve got past posts (try some search terms) and will have more in the future.